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Thursday, October 22, 2020

During a recent television interview, the Premier of Ontario was being questioned by phone-in callers about “cancelling” Hallowe’en. The Premier repeated that he was not cancelling Hallowe’en and denying hundreds of thousands of kids candy and the opportunity to dress up in costumes. He repeatedly said that Hallowe’en would simply need to look different.

In Dr. Seuss’ children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (and the films that followed), the Grinch did not actually “steal Christmas.” Those familiar with the tale might remember the Grinch’s heart expanding at the critical moment of the story to, ultimately, save all the presents for the children of Whoville and preserve Christmas celebrations for all.

In both of the above examples, fictional and non-fictional, an individual cannot single-handedly eliminate the recognition of community-based events and/or traditions. It’s a bit like somebody saying you can’t celebrate your birthday!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the physical health of people has been, necessarily, the most serious concern, particularly seniors and those who are immune compromised, who are the most vulnerable. Protecting the well-being of frontline workers is also top of mind. And efforts to reduce the transmission of the virus would likely complete the trifecta of physical health concern priorities.

This is not a competition, but make no mistake that the rise in depression, anxiety, loneliness and other mental health issues as a result of the pandemic is also a very real concern for the vast majority of people on the planet. School communities are not immune.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 will necessarily be different than Thanksgiving 2019. Much has changed.

My recommendation is that we seize the moment this weekend to “talk turkey” with our kids and with one another. The expression to “talk turkey” references having direct and frank conversations. Rather than avoiding talking about certain topics, “talking turkey” puts the bigger issues in our lives “on the table” for discussion.

From my perspective there are three issues that families could, and should, have meaningful dialogue about (listed here in no particular order): COVID-19, racism, and the economy.

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Thursday, October 01, 2020

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) recently published a COVID-19 risk scale ranking entitled, “Be Informed: Know Your Risk During COVID-19.” The ranking of certain behaviours on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 representing the lowest risk and 10 the highest) was determined by physicians from the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases. Going camping ranks as a 2 out of 10. Playing golf is a 3 out of 10. Going to a beach sits at 5. Going to a hair salon or barbershop is a 7. Eating at a buffet is considered an 8. Going to a bar or a religious service with over 500 worshippers is a 9.

Interesting times, indeed! Pre-COVID, I certainly never thought getting my hair cut posed a particular threat. But here we are. (Sidenote: I now have a family member cut my hair – and you can tell!)

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

As the doors open on a London subway car, an automated, calming voice encourages everyone to “mind the gap.” The message is advising patrons of the Tube to be mindful of the space, or gap, between the subway car they are exiting and the platform they are about to step onto.

Here at TCS, as we wrap up the third week of programming, I am reminded of this phrase when talking to parents, students, faculty and staff.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In describing the strengths and distinctiveness of Trinity College School, I frequently use our T.C.S. acronym to emphasize: Tradition, Community and Shared Values.

Who would have thought that a strong community could ever present as a possible challenge or disadvantage? Yet, here we are during these pandemic times with physical distancing and community gatherings seemingly at cross-purposes. All schools are under the watchful eyes of parents, neighbours, administrators, the media and health authorities as we carefully work to reconcile the two.

Let me reintroduce two metaphors, as proposed by two respected authorities (one a medical doctor, the other an internationally-recognized journalist and author), to provide some additional support of the decision to re-open schools and how we all can, and must, contribute to its success.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! After what many have characterized as "the longest March Break ever," our returning students have begun to re-engage with one another, their teachers, our staff, our program and our place. Our new students will be warmly welcomed into our community over the next couple of days.

And, parents, we will be working to engage or re-engage you in our community as well!

For the past six months, as parents, you have been busy washing, disinfecting, shopping, tidying, worrying and feeling anxious about your child's physical health, well-being, happiness and education. And, if you were like me, there was a level of disappointment and frustration that could not be directed towards anyone or anything other than "Mr. COVID." (I really dislike that guy.)

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

With the digital Junior School Closing Ceremony being presented on Thursday and our Senior School Speech Day presentation set for Friday, this is my last blog for the academic year. And, what a year it has been.

Let me devote this space to the many positive aspects of this year. And, if there is one overall sentiment that I would wish to express, it is a massively humongous THANK YOU to the various constituencies of our beloved Trinity College School.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wine connoisseurs (of which I am not) frequently judge the quality of wine by the year. In other words, the year on the label does not just act as the harvest year of the grapes in the bottle, it provides additional information to assess if the wine, for example, is considered superior or pales in comparison to wine of other years. On the www.beaujolais.com website, for example, 2011 is regarded as a particularly good year for Beaujolais: “…excellent quality wine, a rich, opulent and silky vintage.” (As an aside, I am consistently entertained by the descriptors for wine, and, for that matter, paint colours!)

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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Towards the end of each academic year at TCS, I get the pleasure of hosting “House Chew and Chats.” In short, the graduating students are all invited to attend a session, by house, with me in which I provide the food and they provide the conversation. Actually, they provide their perspective on the strengths of Trinity College School and areas that we could improve or enhance. It’s similar to what some businesses might call an “exit interview.”

Given the circumstances we find ourselves in today, I could not provide the food.(And I know we all miss the food from Osler Hall!) But, thanks to technology, the conversations took place and nearly 85% of the graduating class participated. Here are a selection of the comments the soon-to-be grads made about our school:

Strengths:

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